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Santa Cruz Travel Guide, Bolivia

Bolivia is divided into nine departments namely (with capitals in brackets): Pando (Cobija), La Paz (La Paz), Chuquisaca (Sucre), Beni (Trinidad), Oruro (Oruro), Potosi (Potosi), Tarija (Tarija), and Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz de La Sierra).

 Each department is divided into provinces and these provinces are sub-divided into municipalities. As you can see, Santa Cruz de La Sierra is the capital city for Santa Cruz department located in eastern Bolivia. 

Santa Cruz happens to be the largest city in Bolivia and it was one of those cities (along with Pando, Tarija, and Beni) that announced autonomy from the central government in mid December 2007 although the central government considered this move to be illegal.

 Ñuflo de Chávez founded Santa Cruz in early 1561 honoring his beloved city in Extremadura, Spain. Santa Cruz means Holy Cross of the Hills. Originally, Santa Cruz was located 220 km from its current location, but due to misunderstandings with the indigenous people living there the town was shifted to the banks of Río Grande and later on moved to the banks of Piraí River due to unsuitable environmental conditions.


Presently Santa Cruz is situated 416 m above sea level. The average temperature of Santa Cruz is 21 °C (70 °F) but it drops considerably once cold winds called ‘surazos’ blow from Argentine pampas.  


Chicken (in various forms) happens to be one of the most consumed foods in Santa Cruz. Some of the chicken based dishes are Majao which is chicken meat along with charque in a risotto style plate, Picantte de Pollo which is rice and yucca served with chicken in red hot salsa, and Locro which is a dense rice soup which contains vegetables and chicken.  Chicha is the famous alcoholic drink of Santa Cruz which is made by fermenting white corn. Mocochinchi is another famous drink which is made up of dried peaches that are boiled in presence of honey and clove. 

The streets of Santa Cruz are designed in concentric fashion and one will find Japanese-manufactured taxi cabs running on these streets. Santa Cruz is also famous for its fashion and modeling crazes. Las Magníficas de Pablo Manzoni is a famous modeling agency which regularly organizes fashion shows inviting top models and many of these models are from Santa Cruz itself.

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  • zsoldicsaZoological Gardens
    travel tip by zsoldicsa posted more then 30 days ago
    This is not a very big zoo, but a very nice one. They take really good care of the animals and try to make their places as natural like as possible. Santa Cruz is close to the Amazon Rainforests and the zoo has all kinds of exotic...
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  •$667Avianca Airlines flightAvianca Airlines
    Washington DC, DC (IAD)  Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)
    11/15/2016 10:10 am
    Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)  Washington DC, DC (IAD)
    11/29/2016 07:25 am
  •$670Multiple Airlines flightMultiple Airlines
    New York, NY (JFK)  Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)
    11/01/2016 12:38 pm
    Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)  New York, NY (JFK)
    11/09/2016 05:40 am
  •$1022Lan Airlines flightLan Airlines
    Newark, NJ (EWR)  Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)
    11/01/2016 12:41 pm
    Santa Cruz, BO (VVI)  Newark, NJ (EWR)
    11/09/2016 05:40 am

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